This is what we’ve been waiting for all winter: it’s time to spring into action for the 2023 gardening season! To help you have a successful season, let’s discuss our essential tips for starting your garden this spring.
Complete Any Garden Cleanup
Spring garden cleanup is an essential task to tackle at the start of a new season. By removing debris and dead plants from your garden beds, you can ensure that your garden thrives in the upcoming season. This is particularly important because fallen leaves and other debris from the previous season can harbor pests and lead to diseases that can be detrimental to this year’s plants.
To start your garden cleanup, begin by removing any leaves or dead plant parts that have accumulated over the winter. Use a rake or a garden fork to turn over the soil and remove any debris that has become trapped between the plants. Be sure to remove any dead flowers and plants that have remained in your garden since last season. These can act as a source of disease and can also take up valuable space that you can use for new plantings.
One thing to keep in mind is that some plants and leaves, especially green ones, can be used as compost instead of being discarded. They can be added to compost piles, bins or turned in the garden soil to enrich it. You will see the results of this during the next season when a healthy soil is ready for planting.
Completing garden cleanup is essential for the health and success of your garden. By starting with a clean slate and preparing your garden beds, you can set a solid foundation for the growing season ahead.
Test Out & Clean Your Tools
In addition to cleaning out your garden beds, it’s also important to test and clean your gardening tools! This includes tools that need a spring cleaning like clippers, along with items that have recently thawed from the winter like hoses and sprinklers which can develop cracks during the cold winter months if they were left outside.
Having the right cleaning supplies can make this chore much easier. A good sponge, dish towels, microfiber cloths, a squeegee, a vacuum, a bucket, spray bottles and a scrub brush are all essential cleaning tools for tackling messes around the house and in the garden. Additionally, there are many products available and at other retailers that can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.
It’s important to remember that regular cleaning of your gardening tools will extend their life and ensure they remain in top condition for years to come. Taking care of your tools now will save you time and money in the long run!
Prioritize Soil Quality
When it comes to gardening, healthy soil is everything. Without a good foundation, your plants can struggle to grow and flourish. That’s why it’s important to invest time in the early spring on creating a solid base of high-quality soil.
One way to ensure the health of your soil is to focus on its nutrient density. Nutrient-rich soil contains a balanced mix of the minerals and organic matter that plants need to thrive. This can include elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium, as well as micronutrients like zinc and copper.
Mulch is an excellent way to add nutrients back into the soil. By mixing a mixture of leaves, straw, or compost into your existing soil, you can slowly nourish your plants with organic matter as it gradually decomposes. This can also help improve soil structure, enhance water retention, and reduce soil erosion.
Another option is to use organic fertilizers like compost or manure. These materials are packed with nutrients and can help replenish the soil with essential elements that may have been depleted over time. Additionally, organic fertilizers are generally slow-release, meaning that they continue to nourish your plants over several weeks or even months.
Prepare to Sow Seedlings
As the days start to get longer and the weather starts to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about getting your vegetable garden ready for the season. Planting seedlings and “vegetable starts” (available at our Urban Roots Garden Market stores) in early spring is a great way to get a head start on the growing season.
Before you begin planting, it’s important to do some research and determine what vegetables will grow best in your yard. Consider what type of soil you have and how much sunlight your garden will receive throughout the day. You should also decide which vegetables you would like to grow based on your family’s tastes and preferences.
When selecting plants for your garden, look for varieties that are suited for your climate zone and will mature at roughly the same time. This will help ensure that all of your plants are ready for harvest at approximately the same time. Additionally, make sure that each plant has enough room to grow without overcrowding other plants in order to maximize their growth potential.
Also, don’t let your seedlings get too cold! While cold snaps and overnight temperatures still pose a threat to seedlings, retractable hoop houses and other protective structures are a great way to protect your plants. Hoop houses will help your plants thrive during colder temperatures at the start of the season, and they also prepare them to better handle warmer temperatures as the season progresses. As temperatures start heating up, you’ll want to vent your hoop house and make sure you’re keeping up on your watering so your plants don’t dry out.
Jump into Spring with Urban Roots Garden Market!
Our local gardening experts are here to help make your 2023 gardening season a success! From vegetable starters to colourful annuals, our pop-up garden centres have a wide plant selection for you to choose from. Find the garden centre location nearest you!